CampaignNews Update

“Trading Away Our Rights & Environment” the potential impact of the EU Mercosur Trade Deal 

By 8th August 2020 August 13th, 2020 No Comments

The EU is about to finalise a trade deal with several Southern American countries called the EU Mercosur Trade Deal.

There’s a lot to be worried about from this dodgy trade deal. Farmers’ livelihoods decimated as big business push for more cheap beef to be fast-tracked into Europe; large scale sugar and tobacco imports on our shelves; poorer quality food standards; devastation for indigenous communities as their livelihoods and human rights are eroded; more cars and pesticides being imported to Mercosur countries.

One of the really important concerns is the level of damage the deal will cause to the already threatened Amazon rainforest – known as the “lungs of the planet” and really important in controlling climate change. This year even more trees are being burnt in the Amazon rainforest – after calls to ‘clear the land’ have been made to make way for intensive agriculture and mining.

Plans to get the deal over the line are gearing up – the text is already finalised and ratification process about to begin later in 2020. That’s why together we need to make sure there’s a full understanding of what this toxic deal means for us all.

Uplift members chipped into commission research into the impact this toxic deal will have on the environment, human health, workers rights and human rights of local communities in the Mercosur region.

Click here to read the report in full https://www.uplift.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/UPLIFT-TASC-Final-Mercosur-Report-4.pdf

On August 6th Uplift members gathered with people who have a wide and varied knowledge and expertise to discuss and officially launch our report ‘Trading AwayOur Rights & Environment’

Click here to Sean McCabe of TASC presentation of ‘Trading Away Our Rights & Environment

Click here to see a full recording of the launch event

A snapshot of views from the launch of ‘Trading Away Our Rights & Environment 

“It’s fair to say that no farmer anywhere ever has ever benefited from a trade deal. This is not about Irish farmers having problems with South American farmers. This is very much about multinational corporations and the benefits trade deals have for them. They don’t care about anyone else to be honest.” Henry O’Donnell, Irish Natura & Hill Farmers 

“There’s a real appetite for people getting involved in the way business happens, the way  these trade deals happen and the impact of them – there’s a massive interest and commitment that it doesn’t destroy people’s rights and that it protects the climate and environment.” Siobhan O’Donoghue, Director Uplift

“It has serious ramifications for the environment, human rights, workers rights and health.” Sean McCabe, TASC and author

“The rainforest could turn into a dry savannah. It could release a lot of carbon and make climate change a lot worse. We must become climate neutral in the next 30 years and we must protect carbon sinks like the Amazon rainforest – EU Mercosur contradicts both objectives” Cornelia Maarfield, Climate Action Network, Europe

“Brazil is one of the worst 10 countries in the world for workers rights.” David Joyce, Irish Congress of Trade Unions

“Many groups in Brazil oppose this deal as well. Invasions, exploitation of natural resources – 106 cases just in the first half of 2019. 135 murders in 2018. Many of these are Indigenous activists and environmental activists.” Juliana Sassi, Brazilian Left Front and Latin America Solidarity Centre

“International labour standards, justice for workers, justice for Indigenous people is very important. The EU can bring light to these issues. It can be a standard-bearer. When we seek to make agreements with other groups, we can be that standard-bearer.” Neasa Hourigan, TD, The Green Party

Some Useful Links

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/brazil-amazon-rainforest-fires-july-greenpeace-bolsonaro-a9650521.html

https://s2bnetwork.org/stop-the-eu-mercosur-agreement/